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Thread: come vs go

  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    come vs go

    If I want to go somewhere together with my friend, which of the following sentence is more natural? Is there any difference?

    1. Can I come with you?
    2. Can I go with you?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: come vs go

    In that context, they're both fine. I find "come" a little more natural but "go" is OK.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    teacherdiane is offline Newbie
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    Re: come vs go

    In this case, they're both fine. "Come" and "go" can be very confusing. I made a video to explain the difference:

    Go to Youtube and search for "TeacherDianeESL Come vs Go"


    I hope this helps!

  4. #4
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    Re: come vs go

    The video is fine, but as a starter, but it will not help with some of the problems often discussed with 'come' and 'go'.

    My own (far from perfect) view is that if the speakers are referring to their movement towards the listeners (1), the listeners' movement towards them (2), or separate movements by both to a meeting (3), then they usually come. This is true wherever the speakers/listeners are at the time of the conversation. It is where they will be at the time of the meeting that counts..

    1. I'm coming over to see you in your office now. # Can I come to your barbeque on Saturday?
    2. Come over to my office now; I'm here till six. # Would you like to come to my barbecue next Saturday?
    3. Are you coming to the office party tonight?

    If, however, the speakers are referring to their movements away from the listeners (4), the listeners' movements away from them (5), or separate movements away from where they happen to be at the time of the conversation (6), then they usually go.

    4. I must go to see George now. 'Bye. # I'm going to Munich tomorrow. Can you manage on your own?
    5. Are you going in already? 'Bye .# Don't forget you're going to Munich tomorrow. I'll be OK on my own for one day.
    6. Are you going to the office party tonight?

    The only rather grey area seems to be in situations #4 and #6. If the party is being held in the place where the speaker is at the time of speaking and/or if the speaker is planning to accompany the listener to the party, then 'come' is probably the verb. . If the party is at a different location and/or the speaker is not planning to planning to accompany the listener, then the verb is probably 'go'.

    If the idea is as much 'accompany' as 'move', then there does not seem to be a big difference, though my feeling is that 'come' is more likely. (7):

    7. I'm going (coming) to the theatre tomorrow. Would you like to come/go with me?

    Note my use of 'usually' and 'probably'. This is not rocket science. Much depends on how the speaker sees the situation at the moment of speaking.
    Last edited by 5jj; 07-Feb-2013 at 22:42.

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